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Plans in pipeline for Jube

Saturday, 19th December, 2015

AFL NSW/ACT’s David Lawson met with AFL Broken Hill Chairman Peter Nash on Thursday to discuss future plans for Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke AFL NSW/ACT’s David Lawson met with AFL Broken Hill Chairman Peter Nash on Thursday to discuss future plans for Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke

By Patrick Reincke

Jubilee Oval looks set to receive some upgrades to its facilities after a visit from AFL NSW/ACT this week.

AFL NSW/ACT Infrastructure Planning Manager David Lawson visited to the ground on Thursday and was quite impressed with how it looked.

“First impressions, it’s in pretty good shape down here,” he told the BDT yesterday.

“Between AFL Broken Hill, a pretty proactive council and our AFL men on the ground ... it’s pretty healthy and it’s a good, stable comp.”

After touring the Jube’s facilities, Mr Lawson was able to identify where improvements could be made for the future.

“There’s an opportunity under the grandstand (change rooms) to tidy up amenities a bit, especially with the prospects of youth girls’ footy coming to Broken Hill, which is pretty exciting.

“This whole female football thing is quite big in Broken Hill, it’s well established now, and the opportunity to bridge the gap between Auskick and the senior comp with a youth girls’ comp has worked elsewhere in the state, it’s really blossoming.

“I think it’s an excellent opportunity; with that comes the need for better showers, toilets and back-of-the-house amenity stuff - that’s project one.”

Mr Lawson also spoke about a potential project that will benefit spectators.

“We’re just toying with the idea of combining the bar with the kiosk with the barbecue area and making it a more family-friendly environment,” he explained.

“Both projects might be too much to take off in one bite, so the thoughts are, talk to council, the AFL can potentially fund a fair bit, talk to state and federal members and see if we can get a fund together and then maybe roll it out over two summers.”

AFL Broken Hill Chairman Peter Nash said the plans for the Jube would bring the venue into the modern era.

“Clearly from our on-site inspections on Thursday the toilet and shower facilities are not up to today’s standards of privacy,” he said.

“We’ve got a huge wish list but you’ve got to be realistic with what’s potentially able to be funded.

“We must remember that most of those facilities at the Jube are 50 plus years old, and whilst they still work, they do not meet today’s expectations of health and safety and privacy, so they’re certainly on the top of our agenda.”

Mr Nash was also pleased with the proposed expansion of the barbecue area which will mainly facilitate Auskickers on Friday nights.

“We’re really keen to also develop our bar and canteen and add additional shade with an extension of the pergola areas.

“It really will benefit Auskick when you’ve got 250-300 kids playing with parents as well,” he said.

Mr Lawson finished his visit yesterday before flying back to Sydney.

Mr Nash said the AFL BH board was very pleased to have had him stop by.

“The board was very keen to get someone with the expertise and David’s role for AFL NSW/ACT has got to do with planning and infrastructure.

“So to get somebody who’s got experience within that sort of skill set is very important.”

From now, Mr Nash explained that planning and securing funding for the projects is the first stage in the process.

It is expected that the two projects could cost a total of about $250,000 to complete.

“2016 will be about design workshops, having plans drawn, gaining council development application and having discussions with local, state and federal representatives.

“Whilst AFL is unlikely to grow, given Broken Hill’s population demographic, we need to continue to work hard to sustain our playing numbers and maintain and improve the facilities at Broken Hill’s premier sporting complex.”

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